By Robert Tapfumaneyi
FORMER Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe’s MDC-T party will not field a candidate in the upcoming Glen View South by-election as a sign of respect for the late opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
The decision, according to party vice president Obert Gutu, was taken after the Nelson Chamisa led MDC fielded Tsvangirai’s son Vincent, to take over the seat left vacant following the death of his sister Vimbai Tsvangirai-Java who succumbed to injuries sustained in a car accident in June this year.
But Chamisa’s secretary for elections, Jacob Mafume laughed off the gesture, arguing Khupe’s party had failed to field candidates in other by-elections where no member of the Tsvangirai family had been fielded.
“The Nomination Court for the Glen View South by-election sat on Friday, July 26, 2019. The MDC-T decided not to field a candidate because we found it unconscionable to field a candidate to contest against Vincent Tsvangirai, son of our late iconic leader, Dr Morgan Tsvangirai,” Gutu said.
At the close of the Nomination Court, nine candidates had been duly nominated for the by-election set for September with only two being women, two Independent while the UANC has two candidates, indicating divisions in the party.
“Lies have short legs. The legacy of the Tsvangirai family is under the leadership of president Nelson Chamisa and it is unsustainable for someone to continue fighting against the Tsvangirai legacy and at the same time claim to upholding it,” said Mafume.
“That they could fail to field a candidate is obvious. They have failed to field candidates in many other areas and those areas do not have Tsvangirai’s biological children.”
University of Zimbabwe Lecturer Lovemore Madhuku’s National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) which has consistently contested most by-elections even when major opposition parties have chickened out, seemed to have been sleeping and lost track of the day of nomination.
“Our candidate was not aware of the date of nomination court, but however we are happy that other opposition parties are contesting rather than leaving it to Zanu PF and MDC to contest on their own,” NCA spokesperson Madock Chavisa told NewZimbabwe.com.
The ruling Zanu PF party will be represented by Offard Muchuwe while others are Ellah Zisani and Parlington Pikelele both (UANC), Maxwell Kasema and Phillip Ndengu (both independent) Rosemary Nyamayedenga (Freezim Congress), Crispen Raiteiwa (Zapu) and Edwin Million (LEAD).